The day before her wedding, Alex (Kate Winslet) is trapped at an airport and struggling to get home in spite of a heavy storm outside. Ben (Idris Elba) is in the same boat – he’s a neurosurgeon set to perform an operation on a 10-year-old boy the next morning, with no way of getting to the hospital in time.
Alex has the idea to charter a local plane to get them to where they need to be. But, as it inevitably must, everything goes horribly wrong, and the two strangers find themselves stranded and injured on the peak of a snowy mountain range.
The pair must battle against the odds – and the clock – as they attempt to find help, or civilisation. With very little food and only the company of a stranger to get them through, will they survive?
“This mismatched couple have very little chemistry, although Elba’s smouldering looks fit the situation…”
The Mountain Between Us is based on the novel of the same name by Charles Martin, and is one of those stories that should perhaps have remained solely in print. If you’ve seen any trailers for this film, it’s not hard to guess how events will unfold. It’s quite serendipitous that one member of the travelling band should be a doctor – things may have turned out quite differently otherwise. That just leaves the big question – why was Alex travelling the world the day before her wedding?
This mismatched couple have very little chemistry, although Elba’s smouldering looks fit the situation – perhaps both actors expended too much energy keeping warm in the cold, at the expense of creating a credible relationship.
Thankfully, it’s not all steep suspension of disbelief. There are a few laugh-out-loud moments, and the scenery is at least nice to look at. It’s just unfortunate that what could have been a quality adaptation of the novel was burdened with casting issues.
The Mountain Between Us is evidence that, if nothing else, Idris Elba has the ability to carry whichever film he happens to appear in – especially when playing opposite Winslet’s unconvincing tears.
In cinemas: October 12, 2017
Starring: Kate Winslet, Idris Elba
Directed by: Hany Abu-Assad